A MelanieM Review: Red Dirt Heart (Red Dirt #1) by N.R. Walker

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Welcome to Sutton Station: One of the world’s largest working farms in the middle of Australia – where if the animals and heat don’t kill you first, your heart just might.

Red dirt Heart CoverCharlie Sutton runs one of the largest working ranches in middle Australia, Sutton Station.   It is something he was born to do and Charlie can’t picture himself anywhere else even if he feels his sexuality would make him an outcast not only among the people he works among but the other stations and store owners he does business with as well.  The recent death of his powerful, overbearing father has done nothing to still his father’s voice inside his head that threatens his self worth and instills Charlie with a fear about being gay and out. Then a new arrival at the station upends the status quo, including Charlie’s perceptions of himself and the Sutton Station family.

American agronomy student Travis Craig arrives for a work study internship at Sutton Station.  Travis feels that his background as a Texas rancher and college area of study will help him fit in while hoping his studies will be beneficial to both countries.  While Travis expects to research how the Australian farmers make a living from one of the harshest environments on earth, he doesn’t expect to find that he learns to love not only the harsh beauty and red dirt of Sutton Station but Charlie Sutton himself.

Under the intense desert sun of the red dirt of Sutton Station, can two men find love and the ability to have a future together?

Readers, meet my latest obsession and its author, the Red Dirt Heart series by N. R Walker.   All it took was the first paragraph to pull me totally into the life of Charlie Sutton and the Sutton Station set in the Northern Territory (which is about the same size as Lebanon and based on a real working farm).  This author is amazing.  Walker manages to make the people and places in Red Dirt Heart so believable, so vivid, that you will feel the dust and heat enough to feel the need to brush the red dirt off the pages (or Kindle cover) as you read.

The story is told from  Charlie Sutton’s point of view.  That perspective enables Walker to bring all the Aussie terminology, colloquialisms, culture and frame of mind to life.  It also lets us into the heart and soul of this vulnerable, and marvelously complicated young man.  There is so much to Charlie.  From the insidious voice inside his head left by his father that tells him he will never be good enough or “man” enough to run Sutton Station because he is gay to the considerate, smart, and appealing person others find him to be.  What a  great character!

Travis Craig, is his equal in every manner.  A Texas agronomy student who is openly gay, Travis starts to upend Charlie’s life and life at the Sutton Station from the moment he arrives.  Travis not only works himself into Charlie’s heart but the readers as well.  Their dialog together is serious, humorous, and telling in its many meanings and impact.

Every aspect of life at Sutton Station comes across as authentic and real as the red dirt itself.  From Ma in the kitchen to the drovers that work for Charlie, the reader is immersed into the every day experiences of life lived seasonally and the hard work it takes to exist and succeed under some of the harshest conditions known.  It’s not just the romance but all the layers found here in this story and series that makes it work and  resonate deeply with the readers, myself included.   I did say it was my newest obsession, didn’t I?

Red Dirt Heart is that amazing self published story that you want to go telling everyone about.  I couldn’t put it down and then was lucky enough to already have in my possession the sequel to dive into once the first was finished.  And then I wanted more.  I wanted to move to Australia, experience the red dirt and vastness of the Northern Territory and wander until I found a Charlie and Travis of my own.  Trust me, you are going to feel the same.  The third story in the series is almost here.  Pick up the first two and get ready to fall in love with Charlie, Travis, and the Sutton Station itself.

Cover Artist:  Sara York.  I like it.  It works for the story and series branding.

Author’s Note: Please note: This book is set in Australia, using Australian English and lingo

Sales Links:    All Romance eBooks  (ARe)         Amazon                 Red Dirt Heart 1 $1.50 at Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 162 pages
Published February 20th 2014
edition languageEnglish
seriesRed Dirt #1

Books in the series to date in the order they were written and should be read to understand the relationships, events and characters:

Red Dirt Heart 1
Red Dirt Heart 2
Red Dirt Heart 3 to be released early October 2014